The aerospace industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic as airlines ground flights and manufacturers halt production.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess how disruptive the pandemic will be on the aerospace supply chains.

Analysis of the results shows that the pandemic is expected to cause high disruption to the aerospace supply chains.

A majority 79% of the poll respondents voted that the pandemic will be very disruptive on the aerospace supply chains. A moderate impact is foreseen by 17%, who anticipate COVID-19 to be somewhat disruptive, while just 4% believe that the pandemic will be minimally disruptive.

COVID-19 impact on aerospace supply chains

The analysis is based on 242 responses received between 27 March and 01 May.

How the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting aerospace supply chains

The Chinese aerospace manufacturing industry supplies several components used in many aircraft such as horizontal and vertical tails, doors, wing panels, and wire harnesses. Airbus’ factory in Tianjin, for example, produces components for its A320 and A350 models. The factory was closed for a short period creating backlogs. Boeing also closed its factory in Shanghai temporarily along with French aviation giant, Safran.

Although production has partly resumed in Chinese manufacturing facilities, restrictions in other parts of the world are still expected to impact the supply of raw materials and components. The short-term impact of the pandemic on the industry is a 72% decrease in operations, according to the European Business Aviation Association.

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced airlines to ground their aircraft and reassess their fleet needs, which, in turn, has led aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus to reduce production resulting in furloughing of employees. Airbus furloughed 3,200 employees at Broughton factory in North Wales in April 2020.

Manufacturers facing subdued demand and supply chain disruptions have altered their work towards the production of protective gear and other medical equipment.